Analytical sociology and causal inference

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Abstract

Analytical sociology has gained much popularity in recent years and thus, it is worthwhile revisiting its theoretical foundation and considering how it can contribute to our understanding of social mechanism. In this study, we focus on the concept of causality in analytical sociology and its relation to statistical causal inference. We propose two distinct model of the relationship between mechanism-based explanations and statistical causal inference-discontinuity model and continuity model - and argue that the latter should be adopted. Furthermore, we claim that the project of analytical sociology whose aim is to decompose macro social facts into individual action should be justified not by the "understandability" of action but by generalizability and transportability of the grasp of causality in action.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-64
Number of pages18
JournalSociological Theory and Methods
Volume34
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Causal graph
  • Explanation
  • Mechanism
  • Transportability
  • Understandability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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